On This Day in Billboard Dance History: Avicii Wakes Up a New Style of Dance Music
As the legend goes, the dance music community wasn’t all that stoked on Avicii’s 2013 single “Wake Me Up. ”
The crowd famously booed the trail whenever the Swedish producer debuted it in Miami’s Ultra Music Festival in 2013. (Those who were in the crowd for that place explain the moment since “awkward. ”) When “Wake Me Up” came up in casual conversation during lunch with a publicist in that same age, said publicist put her hands down her throat and then pretended to inhale.
Really, there were lots of feelings about the bluegrass-inspired dance track. By fusing his glowing, massive and pop-leaning new EDM with straight-up nation, Avicii angered confused and some many because he pushed the once underground world of digital music not just farther into the mainstream, but farther into genres that many believed it’d no firm commingling with.
But while purists together raised their eyebrows if they discovered a fall left from line dance , “Wake Me Up” functioned. The producer born Tim Bergling understood it from the minute that he and his fellow musicians walked offstage after that apparently catastrophic Ultra performance.
“[Tim] has been similar to, ‘Don’t worry about that. They’ll know afterwards,’& & rdquo; collaborator Salem Al Fakir stated of the second . “And that they did. ”
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The song became one of those EDM age ’s largest crossover hits, spending 26 months at No. 1 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, where it sat in the top place seven years ago today, on November 12, 2013. “Wake Me Up” additionally went No. 1 on Mainstream Top 40 and Adult Top 40 and struck No. 4 around the Hot 100, where it spent 54 months and put Avicii in the business of pop elite such as Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Lorde, Robin Thicke and Pharrell.
Blowing up as Avicii traversed the world on tour behind his 2013 album True — a jog during which he became the very first contemporary EDM action to play the Hollywood Bowl — the tune ’s uplifting generation and major-key melodies concealed the existential ruminations of these lyrics.
“Wake me up if it’s all over,” the tune ’s vocalist Aloe Blacc sings, “once I’m wiser and I’m old. All this time I had been finding myself and didn’t understand I had been missing. ”
This dichotomy of sound and message could, over time, serve as a miserable sign for Bergling himself. Bringing joy to international audiences while present within a seemingly never-ending fun house of festivals and parties, Bergling’s lifestyle looked like a fantasy.
But in “Wake Me Up” he told me to wake him up as it was over, with the concept alluding to the private struggles Bergling faced in this age, once the white-knuckled relentlessness of life over the street created acute wear and tear to his physical and mental wellbeing. During this time Bergling was simultaneously plagued by dependence rumors, acknowledging that he often partied too hard and too frequently in this stage of his career.
Written by Bergling, Blacc and Incubus’ Mike Einziger, “Wake Me Up” was one of the very first Avicii tracks to tip in the depression behind all those confetti bursts. Avicii would take his own five decades following the tune ’s launch, in the age of 28.
But since Avicii’s legacy lives on in myriad ways, the immediate impacts of “Wake Me Up” are real. The song spawned approximately a thousand imitators, with digital producers seeing the industrial potential of “campfire house” and using their representatives call Nashville to receive a nation act to sing within their own beats. A great deal of it had been derivative garbage and some of it worked, but none of this music had the style, force, originality, boundary-pushing qualifications or worldwide success of “Wake Me Up. ”
In fact, the song forever changed the principles of dance songs, giving producers the freedom to work within whatever genres that they wanted. “Wake Me Up” may have initially made some people nauseous, but Marshmello collabs using Kane Brown, Zedd plays in the CMT Awards, Diplo closes Stagecoach, and everybody cheers. Avicii first had to get booed so for this all to happen. None of it could have happened without him.
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